446 Strangers Helped This American Lady To Crowdfund Rs. 5 Lakh To Build 31 Built Eco-Friendly Toilets

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“During the monsoon, we had to walk extra kilometres for hours. On days of heavy downpour, open defecation would be a nightmare. Infectious diseases were rampant, often affecting a considerable chunk of the village population. The situation was far more difficult for the womenfolk. Thanks to Marta, now the situation in our village is changed,” shares Guddu, a member of one of the 31 families for whom Marta built eco-friendly toilets, using the funds raised via crowdfunding. In total, 432 donors donated Rs. 4,81,877 via Efforts For Good.

 Who is Marta?

Marta Vanduzer-Snow is an American native who settled in India in 2012 and started working in the remote villages of Uttar Pradesh.  She has been building self-cleaning, no-maintenance evapotranspiration toilets in the villages under the project name “Better Village Better World”.

The total cost to construct one unit of this toilet is approximately Rs 10,000 while a normal toilet under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan costs Rs. 17,000. To reduce the expenditure, they use easily-available resources like broken bricks and recycled materials wherever possible, including fly ash bricks and used tyres. Apart from the occasional cleaning of the squatting platform, no other maintenance is needed.

Till now Marta has built 197 toilets. She spent her own money on 82 toilets and 31 toilets were constructed via crowdfunding through Efforts For Good. The villagers help her with the manual labour.

Problem and solution

As per the latest Swachhta Status Report 2016, 52.1% of the rural population of the country still defecates in the open. Uttar Pradesh has a population of 204.2 million (2012 census) and only 35% of its households have toilets.

In 2012, Marta surveyed a village in Uttar Pradesh and discovered that the majority of the villagers wanted toilets in their homes and communities. She explained different toilet models to the villagers. They chose “evapotranspiration” toilet model which is completely eco-friendly and requires no-maintenance, thanks to its self-cleaning feature. Also, this model requires less land area. Marta believes that “asking, listening and observing over time is the key to understanding what people want.”

Marta is also a co-author of different books, research papers and has developed a theory for three-pronged strategy on development that incorporates health, education and the pieces of infrastructure.

Updates Of Marta’s crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for 100 toilets

Update 2:Project: Let Us Help Marta To Build 100 Low Cost, Eco-Friendly And Maintenance Free Toilets In VillagesMore…

Posted by Efforts For Good on Thursday, October 11, 2018

The speciality of evapotranspiration toilet model

A normal toilet tank is filled with urine, faecal matter and water. The waste is later emptied either manually or using machines. Due to the opening in the septic tank, the urine and faecal matter enter the soil polluting the groundwater and causing health issues. But in this evapotranspiration toilet, the waste is filtered without human intervention and there is no soil pollution. This has been certified by FICCI Research and Analysis centre.

It has an on-site sanitation system for the chemical and biological treatment and reuse of household blackwater. It was developed and popularised over the last two to three decades by permaculture practitioners in different countries, especially the U.S.A and Brazil.

How does evapotranspiration toilet work

As shown in the picture, the toilet consists of several layers consisting of soil, sand, smaller and bigger stones and finally a layer of recycled tyres. All these layers work together to clean the tank.

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The substructure layers together use the processes of anaerobic digestion, capillary action, evaporation, and transpiration, to filter, release and absorb the waste matter. Anaerobic digestion converts a portion of the human excreta into biogas, exiting out the back-standpipe.

The digested matter travels up and out through capillary action. The nutrients leave the system by getting incorporated into the plant biomass through mineralisation and absorption by its roots, while evapotranspiration removes the liquid, either transpiring through the plants or evaporating at the surface of the soil.

Effectiveness of the toilet model

1. User surveys: The team follows up with the toilet users, conducting several usage and performance surveys.
2. An accredited laboratory, local government authorities, engineers and sustainable architects all reviewed and certified the toilet model.
3. The FICCI Research and Analysis centre collected samples from the toilets. The required parameters tested are within the permissible limits. Coliform and E.coli were not detected in the water hand pumps situated near the toilets.

Marta is aiming to build another 100 toilets in the remote villages of Uttar Pradesh. Let us come together and help her in making this a reality.

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1,80,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 300 families
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns
1,80,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 300 families

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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